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Friday, 01 September 2023 14:29

Here’s the Upside Case for Municipal Bonds

Most fixed income investors are waiting on a Fed pivot before getting aggressively bullish on long-duration fixed income. Others are studying economic data to see any indications of a slowdown which would presage a pivot and also push bonds higher.


However, they may be missing an opportunity in municipal bonds according to Columbia Investments. These are one way to take advantage of higher yields and the recent selloff in long-duration bonds. Further, they offer unique tax advantages especially when buying debt in your own state and/or municipality. Currently, the average yield for municipal debt is 3.5% which is quite generous considering its after-tax. 


This is above the historical average. Additionally, history shows that default rates are quite low with municipal debt. Finances at the state and local level remain quite solid, and there have been more upgrades than downgrades so far this year, indicating that finances continue to improve. 


This state of affairs is leading to lower supply for municipal debt. Whenever the Fed does decide to pivot, this is a key factor in why municipal debt is likely to outperform as demand will certainly surge. 

Finsum: Given the steep losses in fixed income over the past couple of months, many investors may be overlooking a very unique opportunity in municipal bonds. 


Perfecto. A perfect 10.

And that’s not to mention the “perfect investment?”, which, in all likelihood, you’d like to see manifest in, among other things, high returns and low risk. While such an investment – despite the development of all; sorts of methods and strategies – might be all but unattainable, modern portfolio strategy or MPT’s come as close as any, according to

Looking at the expected risk and return of one specific stock falls short of the mark, according to MPT. Rather, sock your money in more than one; that way, an investor can reap the benefits of diversity. That includes shoring back the risk of the portfolio.

Probably not surprisingly, like pretty much everything else, MPT has its limits, according to Its perceived positives aside, in the clutches of economic downturns, certain aspects of MPT could be placed under a microscope. Not to mention the fact of when various asset classes don’t necessarily balance one another.

Nevertheless, potentially, MPT can smooth out the returns of a portfolio and put a lid on volatility while, perhaps, dispending earnings down the road.


Thursday, 31 August 2023 13:06

Women power

What’s good for the goose is good for….financial advisors?

On one hand, they adroitly help clients navigate their future, but when it comes to their firms, well, they might not be quite so vigilant, according to

Only 27% of financial advisors have a succession plan – or formal preparations to segue from the business -- at all, according to a 2018 report from the Financial Planning Association.

Consequently, it begs the question: with a gaggle of advisors closing in on hanging it up, what’s their legacy strategy?

Among key findings from financial advisors on SmartAsset’s platform:

The number of financial advisors with a succession plan has increased.

Most financial advisors without a succession plan intend on creating one at some point in the future

Financial advisor succession planning is not top-of-mind for most individuals.

Meantime, probably not surprisingly, women, it seems, are making a major mark in the financial terrain.

The essential role of women agents in furthering the cause of financial inclusion and fostering business growth for financial service providers was confirmed through a plethora of research studies done worldwide, according to

What’s more, female agents are the ones of choice among female customers, while agents serving more women customers derive more income and satisfaction on the job.

Thursday, 31 August 2023 12:58

3 Strategies to Grow Your Practice

For Financial Planning, Tobias Salinger talks with Dominique Henderson, the founder of DJH Capital to share tips on growing a financial advisor brand. Henderson is a financial advisor, planner, coach, and content creator who just released an ebook on tactics to grow a financial advisor practice. 


His main advice centers around boosting leads, targeting a niche, and creating a long-term relationship. Henderson is a big believer in finding the ‘right room’ where you can be yourself. Here, your message and advise are more likely to resonate. 


Henderson also focuses on advisors who are in the early stages of their careers and shares advice on making the right connections, finding the best events to attend, and how a real practice works. Henderson sees an increase in the number of people who considering becoming financial advisors and planners. 


He believes that the initial difficulty of cold calling and taking meetings all days dissuade many from the career path. Therefore, Henderson wants to highlight alternative methods of getting started in the business. 


Rather than the focus on gathering assets, he believes that advisors should think about how thier advice and planning will help an individual and their families over the long-term in multiple facets of their life. 

Finsum: The financial advisor industry has too much of a focus on asset-gathering. Instead, there should be more focus on how the right advice can improve a client’s life trajectory


Thursday, 31 August 2023 12:57

Another Use Case for Direct Indexing

Direct indexing is gaining adherents at a rapid pace as it proliferates from solely high net worth investors to investors with much smaller sums and is now available through most wealth management platforms. Direct indexing allows investors to capture the benefits of index investing such as low costs and diversification but allows more personalization. Its most well known benefit is that it can help lower taxes due to its unique ability to harvest tax losses which can offset gains in other parts of the portfolio. 


Another is that it allows customization of indexes because many investors may want to reduce exposure to a certain stock or sector. This can be because they have substantial exposure to the stock or industry through their other holdings or because of personal preferences. 


The latter is a reflection of the rise of values-based investing which is increasingly popular among younger investors. This entails making investments that align with one’s own personal values. For instance, an investor may choose not to include fossil fuel companies in their index because of concerns around the environment. These holdings are then replaced with a different stocks that have similar factor scores. 


Prior to direct indexing, investors with strong values would be limited in terms of investment options. Now, they are able to essentially create their own fund that aligns with their values. 

Finsum: One of the major benefits of direct indexing is that investors can customize their holdings to align with their personal values. 


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